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Mrs. Murray 67, Washington 13, North Carolina 11, Alabama 9, Madam 8, Mrs. Hagan 8, Virginia 7, Pennsylvania 7, Ms. Landrieu 7, Mr. Isakson 6, South Dakota 5, Vermont 5, Mr. Toomey 5, Mr. Cardin 5, Georgia 4, Mr. Casey 4, Mexico 4, America 4, Mr. Sanders 4, Indiana 3,
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  CSPAN    Tonight From Washington    News/Business. News.  

    March 22, 2013
    8:00 - 10:59pm EDT  

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vote:
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the presiding officer: is there anyone wishing to vote or to change their vote? is there anyone wishing to vote or change their vote? on this vote, the yeas are 48,
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the nays are 51, three-fifths of the senators duly chosen and sworn not having voted in the affirmative, the motion is not agreed to. the point of order is sustained and the amendment fails. under the previous order, there will be two minutes -- without objection. mrs. murray: mr. president, i believe that the senator from north carolina has the next amendment. the presiding officer: under the previous order, there will be two minutes of debate equally divided prior to the vote in relation to amendment number 278 offered by the senator from north carolina, mrs. hagan. mrs. hagan: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from north carolina. mrs. hagan: thank you, mr. president. this amendment establishes a deficit -- the presiding officer: the senate will be in order. mrs. hagan: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from north carolina. mrs. hagan: this amendment establishes a deficit-neutral reserve fund for families of
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service members and veterans. my home state has the third largest military footprint in the nation. one out of every three people is in the military, a veteran or related to a service member or veteran, and we are proud that we make military families welcome in north carolina because supporting military families is one of the best ways that we can support our troops. this amendment is deficit neutral. it will not add one penny to our deficit. it helps to create room in the budget for legislation to help military families in areas ranging from health care to housing and from education to job placement while their loved ones are serving our country away from home. a vote for this amendment is a vote for our military families, for the sons, daughters, husbands, wives and families who sacrifice for this nation right alongside -- the presiding officer: the senate will be in order. mr. sessions: mr. president, the senate is not in order. the presiding officer: the
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senate will be in order. the senator from north carolina. mrs. hagan: mr. president, i would like to call up amendment number 278. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: the senator from north carolina, mrs. hagan, proposes an amendment numbered 278. mrs. hagan: and, mr. president, i ask my colleagues to consider that our military families serve this nation, they just don't do it in uniform. thank you, mr. president. mr. sessions: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from alabama. mr. sessions: unless there are any senators who wish to speak in opposition to this amendment, i know we all are in very strong support of veterans. this amendment would make it easier to pass legislation, but that legislation would require -- be required to be deficit neutral. i think that we have to know that nothing comes from nothing. we start new programs, they have got to be paid for, but we certainly support the goal of this amendment, and i would suggest we could take it by voice vote. mrs. murray: mr. president, if
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there is not an objection, i would suggest we voice vote this amendment. the presiding officer: is there any further debate? hearing none, all those in favor say aye. all those opposed say no. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the amendment is agreed to. mrs. murray: move to reconsider. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. murray: lay it on the table. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. murray: mr. president, i believe the senator from georgia is next. the presiding officer: under the previous order, there will be two minutes of debate equally divided prior to a vote in relation to amendment number 738 offered by the senator from georgia, mr. isakson. mr. isakson: mr. president, i call up amendment 138. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: the senator from georgia, mr. isakson, proposes amendment numbered 138. mr. isakson: mr. president, this is the isakson-shaheen budget that creates a deficit-neutral fund for the purposes of converting our appropriation and budget process to a two-year process where we budget and appropriate in odd number --
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the presiding officer: the senate is not in order. mrs. murray: mr. president, i would ask all senators to please take their conversations to the cloakroom. it's very difficult to hear the senator, and he has a right to be heard. the presiding officer: the senator from georgia. mr. isakson: we would budget and appropriate in odd-numbered years and do oversight for efficiencies, finding abuses and finding those programs that aren't working in even-numbered years. this is a process that has been asked for by every president since ronald reagan but our current president today, it is endorsed by republicans and democrats in this body. the person that knows the knows about it is miss jeanne shaheen, a former governor of new hampshire and a united states senator. mrs. shaheen: thank you, mr. president. i was governor for three budgets and we were able to balance them every other year, every cycle, because biennial budgeting gives us an opportunity to prioritize scarce resources and provide more oversight to the budgeting process. this is an idea whose time has come. we need this reform, and i urge my colleagues to support it.
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mr. isakson: i ask for the yeas and nays. the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? mrs. murray: is there a senator who wishes to speak in opposition? seeing none, i will yield back our time. the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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the presiding officer: are there any senators wishing to vote or to change their vote? if not, the yeas are 68, the nays are 31. the amendment is agreed to. mrs. murray: move to reconsider. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. murray: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from washington. the senate will be in order. mrs. murray: for the information of all senators, we have worked through a lot of amendments. i really appreciate everybody's hard work on this. i'm about to ask for a unanimous consent that will lock in the next 16 amendments. that will take us well past midnight. i would suggest to any senator who is going to need a vote and wants to keep the senate later, talk to either senator sessions or myself very soon. with that, i ask unanimous consent that the next amendments in order be called up, be
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warner, number 63, thune number 307, warner 693, thune 307, sanders 198, burr 697, reed of rhode island, number 482, paul 263, landrieu 314, cornyn 247, menendez 606, vitter 689, tester 537, toomey 535, casey 442, coats 514, cardin 273, lee 373, that there be no second-degree amendments in order prior to the votes in relation to any of these amendments, that notwithstanding all time having expired on the resolution, there be two minutes equally divided prior to each vote. upon disposition of the lee amendment number 373, the majority have the next amendment in order and all these votes be ten-minute votes, and the chair report en bloc. the presiding officer: is there objection? mr. sessions: mr. president?
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the presiding officer: the senator from alabama. mr. sessions: i believe this is a good list and would support this list. i would advise that a number of senators have amendments that they have waited patiently on and are entitled to get votes on, so we need to move forward, and the more effectively we can do so, the sooner we can finish, but there are some real serious matters that have not yet been put on this list that will need to be voted on. with that, i would withdraw my objection. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. a senator: the right to object. the presiding officer: the senator from oklahoma. mr. inhofe: i reserve the right to object. the senator from alabama talked about some who have been waiting for a long time. it happens that i was among the very first to put all of mine in and i was ready to go, cut them down to two votes. i'm still waiting. so i'm not going to wait beyond the next one, i want to serve notice at this time, and i don't
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object. mr. reid: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: when we finalize these amendments, it's 41 amendments we have done on the budget resolution. disposed of 41 amendments. senators are going to have to understand this is not going to go on forever. the average is about 30, 35 votes. we have done -- after we finish this, it will be 41. so everyone should understand, be pretty understanding, we have 400 amendments that have been offered. we're not going to do that. the presiding officer: the senator from washington. mrs. murray: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent -- the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection, so ordered. mrs. murray: thank you, mr. president. and so i would just remind all senators, if you do have an amendment that you need done, please let us know very quickly as we're going to try to -- mr. sessions: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from alabama. mr. sessions: we look forward to
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working hard as we go forward and take on some new amendments. i would say it's unfortunate we have come to the end of the week as we have. we still would have a week when we come back, the week of april 8, but i know the majority leader wants to finish, so we're going to try to cooperate. i know he will cooperate with us as we seek to get as many amendments done and as many people satisfied with the issues they are concerned about as possible. the presiding officer: the senator from washington. mrs. murray: if the clerk could call the amendments up en bloc. the presiding officer: the clerk will report the amendments en bloc. the clerk: the senator from virginia, mr. warner, proposes amendment numbered 693. the senator from south dakota, mr. thune, proposes amendment numbered 307. the senator from vermont, mr. sanders, proposes amendment numbered 198. the senator from north carolina, mr. burr, proposes amendment numbered 697. the senator from rhode island, mr. reed, proposes amendment numbered 482. the senator from kentucky, mr. paul, proposes amendment numbered 263.
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the senator from louisiana, ms. landrieu, proposes amendment numbered 314. the senator from texas proposes amendment numbered 247. the senator from new jersey, mr. menendez, proposes amendment numbered 606. the senator from louisiana, mr. vitter, proposes amendment numbered 689. the senator from montana, mr. tester, proposes amendment numbered 537. the senator from pennsylvania, mr. toomey, proposes amendment number 535. the senator from pennsylvania, mr. casey, proposes amendment numbered 442. the senator from indiana, mr. coats, proposes amendment number 414. the senator from utah, mr. lee, proposes amendment 373. the presiding officer: under the previous order, there will now be two minutes of debate equally divided prior to a vote in relation to amendment number 693 offered by the senator from virginia, mr. warner. mr. warner: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from virginia. mr. warner: in the spirit of what our leader said about us trying to move along, i think while we may have a variety of views, with $16.5 trillion in debt, a debt that goes up by
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$3 billion every night, the last thing we should do is dig this hole any deeper. this amendment is paired with an amendment offered later by my friend from south dakota, senator thune. senator thune's amendment would repeal the estate tax without any ability to offset it with additional revenue. mr. president, i believe that the estate tax is actually a meaningful part of our tax code and we have put in place appropriate exemptions, $5 million a perpendicular, $10 million a couple. that means the estate tax right now only applies to about 3,800 people a year. yet if we were to repeal the estate tax without any offset, that would add $600 billion to our debt. we spend a lot of time over these last months talking about the dramatic cuts to defense and sequester, $550 billion. repeal of this would cost more. i would urge if you want to repeal the estate tax, pay for it. vote for the warner amendment 693. the presiding officer: who
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yields time in opposition? a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from south dakota. mr. thune: mr. president, i appreciate the effort being made by the senator from virginia. he's moving in the right direction. we do need to get rid of this once and for all. and i'd be happy to accept his amendment by voice if he'd be willing to do that. but i do think it's important that we have a vote on eliminating the death tax. the death tax is a punitive tax. it hits farmers and ranchers squarely in the face at a time when they're trying to pass on their farm or ranch operation to the next generation of americans and, by the way, the amendment that i will offer does -- is a deficit-neutral reserve fund. it would be offset. it's simply the point that the senator from virginia made about it not being offset is not accurate. it would be offset but it is time that we put a stake in the heart of the death tax and end it wobs once and for all. the presiding officer: the senator from virginia.
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mr. warner: mr. president, i believe we need a balanced approach. the notion we can continue to take away revenue sources is not a responsible spon way to address this budget and i urge my colleagues to support amendment 69 3 that says if you're going to repeal the estate tax, $600 billion, deeper into debt --. the presiding officer: the time is expired. is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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the presiding officer: are there any senators wishing to vote or change their vote? mr. harkin, no. the presiding officer: are there any other senators wishing to vote or change their vote? if not, the ayes are 80, the nays are 19. the amendment is agreed to. mrs. murray: move to reconsider. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. murray: lay it on the table. the presiding officer: without objection.
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under the previous order, there now will be two minutes of debate equally divided prior to a vote in relation to amendment number 307 offered by the senator from south dakota, mr. thune. mr. thune: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senate will be in order. the senator from south dakota. mr. thune: mr. president, this amendment will create a deficit-neutral reserve fund to completely, completely eliminate the federal estate tax burden facing america's family farmers and small businesses. there are lots of reasons to support elimination of this destructive and inefficient tax but for me, the issue comes down to being able to tell the farmers and ranchers that i represent that i'm doing everything i can to make sure that they can pass on their family farm to the next generation without a double tax imposed from washington, d.c. behind me is a chart, this is data selected from the latest agriculture department report on farmland values. farmers in the states represented on this chart truly are land rich and cash poor.
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these farmers literally have to sell off land or spend large sums in financing planning solely because of the estate tax. all of that to bring in less than .5% of all federal revenue. next year the estate tax will generate $15 billion is all relative to the -- all the harm that it cause toes farms, ranches and small businesses in this country. it's time to end this tax. it is time to put,. the presiding officer: the senator's time has spired. mr. thune: i ask my colleagues to support the repeal with this amendment. mrs. murray: i yield to the senator from virginia. mr. warner: there are strong feelings in this body about the estate tax. i personally feel the current estate tax with the generous $5 million per person exemption, $10 million per family, that only place applies to 3,800 families per year is a fair part of our tax code. others may disagree. but in our previous amendment on the warner amendment 693 we said if you replace the estate tax
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you got to pay for it. the unfortunate thing about the senator's amendment, it says if you repeal the estate tax you cannot use revenues to replace it. it will have to be replaced with additional cuts. mr. president, we are in the -- the problem we have at this point, $16.5 trillion in debt because we have not recognized to get a budget balanced you've got to look at both sides of the balance sheet, revenue and spending. you can't keep taking revenue away on every item. i urge my colleagues to oppose the thune amendment. mrs. murray: ask for the yeas and nays. the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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vote:
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the presiding officer: any senators wishing to vote or change their vote? if not, the yeas are 46, the nays are 53. the amendment is not agreed to. under the previous order, there will now be two minutes of debate equally divided prior to a vote in relation to amendment number 198, offered by the senator from vermont, mr. sanders. [inaudible] sphie without objection. ] [ [inaudible] the presiding officer: without objection. the senator from vermont. mr. sanders: mr. president, i call up amendment number 198. the presiding officer: the amendment is pending. mr. sanders: mr. president, this amendment would create a deficit-neutral --
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the senate is not in order. the presiding officer: the senate will be in order. mr. sanders: mr. president, this amendment would create a deficit-neutral reserve fund to protect disabled veterans and their survivors which may not included a chained c.p.i. no chained c.p.i. this amendment is cosponsored by, senator harkin, hirono and whitehouse. this amendment is strongly supported by the american legion and all of the veterans' organizations. it is supported by the aarp and all of the senior organizations because they do not want to see cuts in social security. it is supported by the afl-cio and the national organization for women, among many other groups. mr. president, after all of the fine memorial day speeches about how much we love and support our veterans, the disabled veterans of america, the gold star wives,
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the -- the presiding officer: the senator's time has expired. mr. sanders: -- they want to know if we're going to balance the budget on the backs of disabled veterans. i hope very much we will not do that. mrs. murray: the senator from north carolina. a senator: mr. president, i rise in support of the sanders amendment and i urge my colleagues to support it. mr. burr: you see, i -- i support chained c.p.i., just like the president, as it relates to entitlement reform. and the fact is that if we want to protect veterans, then the important amendment is the next one. it's the amendment that -- that bans excessive taxes from being applied to our country's veterans. it shields them from the massive tax increases found in this budget. i yield the floor. mrs. murray murray: mr. preside? i believe we can take this on a voice vote. mr. sanders: madam president, if mr. burr supports this amendment, i would ask for a roll call.
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the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? at the moment there is not a sufficient second. mr. sanders: i want a roll call vote. the presiding officer: at this time, there's not a sufficient second. the question is on the amendme amendment. mrs. murray: mr. president, suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.
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mrs. murray: mr. president, i suggest the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. murray: and ask for a voice vote on the sanders amendment. the presiding officer: hearing no further debate, all those in favor say aye. all those opposed say no. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the amendment is agreed to. mrs. murray: thank you, mr. president. move to reconsider. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. murray: and lay it on the table. the presiding officer: without objection. under the previous order, there
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will now be two minutes of debate equally divided prior to a vote in relation to amendment number 697. mr. burr: mr. president? the presiding officer: who yields time? mr. burr: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from north carolina. mr. burr: mr. president, i rise today to offer an amendment that will actually protect veterans. the presiding officer: the senate will be in order. mr. burr: mr. president, i rise today to offer an amendment that will actually protect veterans, one that will protect them from the massive tax increases in this budget. the budget before us today raises a trillion dollars but doesn't tell us how. my amendment would ensure that the -- that the democrats in the chamber can't raise a dime of that trillion dollars on the backs of our nation's veterans and it would strike their
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ability to fast-track any tax increases through this body. i encourage all members to vote for the amendment that will actually protect veterans from the threat before them and that threat is higher taxes that will come from this budget. i yield back. mrs. murray: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from washington. mrs. murray: mr. president, i strongly oppose this amendment. repealing this budget's revenue increases and striking reconciliation would be irresponsible. this budget -- our budget would not raise taxes on veterans. and i yield the remainder of my time to the senator from vermont. the presiding officer: the senator from vermont. mr. sanders: what this amendment basically says is it does away with the money -- the revenue that this committee has put into the bill and it says the only way to do deficit vuks to cut, cut -- deficit reduction is to cut, cut, cut. cut social security, veterans' programs, medicare, medicaid. one out of four corporations doesn't pay a nickel in taxes today. no problem, we're losing a hundred billion dollars with companies putting their money in the cayman islands, tax havens,
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no problem. the only way to go forward is to cut, cut, cut. the american people do not support that concept. this amendment should be defeated. the presiding officer: who yields time? mrs. murray: ask for the yeas and nays. the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? mrs. murray: i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. mrs. murray: mr. president, i'd call off the quorum call. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. sanders: raise a point of order that the pending amendment is not germane to the underlying resolution and therefore violates section 305-b-2 of the congressional budget act of 1974. mr. burr: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from north carolina. mr. burr: mr. president, i move to waive section 305-b-2 of the congressional budget act for the consideration of the pending amendment number 697, pursuant to section 904-c of the congressional budget act of 19 1974, and i ask for the yeas and nays. the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second?
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there appears to be. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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the presiding officer: are there any senators in the chamber wishing to vote or change their vote? if not, the yeas are 45, the nays are 54. the amendment is not agreed to. mrs. murray: move to reconsider. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. murray: move to lay it on the table. the presiding officer: without objection. the presiding officer: the chair needs to make a correction. on this vote, the yeas are 45,
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the nays are 54. three-fifths of the senators duly chosen and sworn not having voted in the affirmative, the motion is not agreed to. the point of order is sustained and the amendment fails. mrs. murray: move to reconsider and lay it on the table. the presiding officer: without objection. under the previous order, there will now be two minutes of debate equally divided prior to a vote in relation to amendment number 482, offered by the senator from rhode island, mr. reed. mr. reed: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from rhode island. mr. reed: thank you, mr. president. this is a bipartisan amendment cosponsored by senator collins of maine and senator merkley of oregon. the presiding officer: can we have order in the chamber, please. the senator from rhode island. mr. reed: thank you, mr. president. again, this bipartisan amendme amendment, cosponsored by senator collins and senator merkley, would add resources to the energy program for the purpose of increasing support for the weatherization assistance program. it would also include weatherization in the
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investments urn the deficit-neutral reserve fund on clean energy and environmental protection. weatherization does several things. puts people to work, helps low-income people control their energy bills and helps us move towards energy independence. we have to do more of this, not less. this will put us back on the track of doing more and i would urge passage. mr. sessions: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from alabama. mr. sessions: i thank the senator and his cosponsors for their work on this amendment. the presiding officer: the senate will be in order. mr. sessions: i would note that it would double the budget numbers for the weatherization program and note that the recovery act a few years ago, the stic stimulus bill, provided $5 billion for the weatherization program. so while dubious about the wisdom of this doubling of the program, it is offset. and, therefore, i would accept a voice vote. mrs. murray: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from washington. mrs. murray murray: without obj, we'll move to a voice vote on
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this amendment. the presiding officer: all in favor safe aye. all those opposed say no. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the amendment is agreed to. mrs. murray: move to reconsider. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. murray: lay it on the table. the presiding officer: without objection. there are now two minutes of debate equally divided prior to a vote on amendment 263 offered by the senator from kentucky. mr. paul. mr. paul: mr. president, the president -- the presiding officer: may we have order, please. the senator from kentucky. mr. paul: the president is fond of calling for a balanced approach. today i rise in this body to offer a balanced approach to budgets. i offer a budget that balances in five years. this budget is called the revitalize america budget. it reforms and saves social security and medicare, making
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them solvent for 75 years. it creates millions of jobs by letting taxpayers keep an additional $600 billion of their income. it repeals obamacare. it requires congress to vote to approve or disapprove all major regulations. our ever-expanding debt is costing us millions of jobs a year. it's time to stop burying our kids in debt. i suggest a vote for this five-year balanced budget. thank you. i yield back my time. mrs. murray: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from washington. mrs. murray: the budget resolution that's before the senate represents the values and priorities of the middle-class agenda. the paul budget that is being offered includes tax savings for the wealthy and eliminates the programs that strengthen our economy and support our middle class. i strongly urge my colleagues to vote against this amendment and ask for the yeas and nays. the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second?
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there appears to be. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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the presiding officer: any other senators wishing to vote or change their vote? hearing none, the ayes are 18, the nays are 81. the amendment is not agreed to. without objection. there are now two minutes equally divided prior to a vote on amendment 314 offered by the senator from louisiana, ms. landrieu. ms. landrieu: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from louisiana. ms. landrieu: i'm happy to offer this amendment on behalf of
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senator chambliss, senator vitter. the presiding officer: the senate will be in order. ms. landrieu: i'm proud to offer this amendment on behalf of myself, senator chambliss, senator vitter, senator blumenthal, senator isakson, senator murphy and senator udall of new mexico that will fix a problem in the way c.b.o. is scoring the leasing of veterans' clinics. this amendment, if adopted, will have no impact on the deficit. it will allow veterans' clinics in 30 states to be able to finance their -- their buildings. it is something that must be done in order to solve this problem. the presiding officer: the senate will be in order. ms. landrieu: it's something that must be done to solve problems of these veterans, and i think we can take this by a voice vote. mr. sessions: mr. president, i believe -- i believe senator coburn would like to speak on
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this. mr. coburn: i understand what the senator from louisiana is trying to do, but it really goes towards the bigger problems of g.s.a., and i will just give you a great example. in my hometown, they are building a brand-new u.s. attorney's office with four other sites that are available there that could have been leased, and they are going to lease this one as well. so leasing doesn't solve the problem. what we need to attack is the inefficiencies and ineffectiveness of g.s.a. and i'm sure we'll take a voice vote on this, but i'm not sure i agree with the gentlelady from louisiana's solution. ms. landrieu: and i respect that. this is only for veterans' clinics, and i ask for a voice vote. mrs. murray: if there is no objection, we will take this by voice vote. the presiding officer: the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the amendment is agreed to. without objection.
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there are now two minutes of debate equally divided prior to a vote in relation to amendment 247 offered by the senator from texas, mr. cornyn. mrs. murray: the senate is not in order. the presiding officer: the senate will be in order. mr. cornyn: i ask unanimous consent to call up amendment 247 and ask for -- the presiding officer: the amendment is pending. mr. cornyn: mr. president, this is an amendment that would facilitate passage of legislation that would deny personnel at the office of management and budget pay for such time as they delay in the statutory requirement for the president to submit a budget for consideration by the united states senate. as we all know, the law requires the president to submit a budget the first monday in february, that the president has not done so four out of the last five years, nor will he do so this
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year reportedly until april. the problem with that is we will finish our work here this week, the house will finish their work, and the president has rendered himself entirely irrelevant. we know because the house passed a no-budget, no-pay bill that it prompted the first budget here in the senate in more than 1,400 days, and that's a good thing, that's progress. we'd like to do the same thing now with the office of management and budget, encourage the president to be relevant to the budget debate and require him to submit his budget on a timely basis, and i would ask colleagues for their vote. mrs. murray: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from washington. mrs. murray: mr. president, there is no opposition and we would suggest a voice vote. the presiding officer: all those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the amendment is agreed to.
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mrs. murray: mr. president? i ask unanimous consent that the menendez amendment listed in the previous order amendment 606 be replaced with the udall amendment number 483. the presiding officer: without objection. amendment 606 is withdrawn. the clerk will report amendment 483. the clerk: the senator from washington, mrs. murray, or mr. udall of new mexico proposes amendment numbered 483. the presiding officer: there are now two minutes of debate equally divided on amendment 483. mrs. murray: mr. president, the senator from new mexico is arriving in the chambers. the presiding officer: the senator from new mexico is here, madam chair. the presiding officer: the senator from new mexico. mr. udall: let me just say that i very much appreciate the help on this amendment from both senator wyden who is here, the chairman of the committee, and
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also senator murkowski who has been working with me on this amendment, and i would yield back any time unless the gentleman from oregon would wish to speak or -- yield back time. the presiding officer: is all time yielded back? the question is on the amendment. mrs. murray: mr. president, if there is no opposition, i would suggest a voice vote unless someone objects. mr. sessions: mr. president, i understand there have been discussions about this. it's on an agreed list for a voice vote. i would have no objection unless others do. the presiding officer: all in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the amendment is agreed to. there are now two minutes of debate equally divided prior to a vote on -- in relation to amendment 689 offered by the
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senator from louisiana, mr. vitter. mr. vitter: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from louisiana. mr. vitter: mr. president, i call up amendment 689. the presiding officer: the amendment is pending. mr. vitter: thank you, mr. president. mr. president, there have been at least three independent studies now recently that underscore that too big to fail is still alive and well, and that too big to fail policies give wall street megabanks a subsidy in comparison to their competitors, an unfair advantage creating an uneven playing field, and not coincidentally that's why these megabanks dominate the markets, biggest market share than ever in history. so this amendment is very simple. it says we should do away with the federal policies that create that subsidy, that uneven playing field. it doesn't say it would forcibly break up the banks, it doesn't say we would tax them just as that. i yield the remainder of my time
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to senator brown from ohio. mr. brown: thank you. we ask support of the vitter-brown-corker-pryor amendment. the independent community banks of america are supportive because they know the playing field isn't level. one real quick statistic, 18 years ago, the six biggest u.s. banks had assets equal to 18% of g.d.p. today it's 65% of g.d.p. i ask for your support of the amendment. mrs. murray: mr. president, i don't believe there is any opposition to this amendment. i would ask the senator if we could have a voice vote on this amendment as well. mr. vitter: mr. president, we feel this is an important amendment and ask for the yeas and nays. the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? at this moment, there is not a sufficient second. there appears to be. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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vote:
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the presiding officer: are there any senators in the chamber wishing to vote or change their vote? if not, the ayes are 99, the nays are zero and the amendment is agreed to. mrs. murray: move to reconsider. lay it on the table. the presiding officer: without objection. there are now two minutes equally divided prior to a vote in relation to amendment number 537 offered by mr. tester. mr. tester: madam president, i call up amendment 537. mrs. murray: madam president -- the presiding officer: the senate will come to order. mrs. murray: the senate is not in order.
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i know there's a lot of march madness going pofnlt we'd like to keep it calm on the floor. we'll get through more amendments tonight so if everybody could please take their conversations to the cloakroom. the presiding officer: the senator's amendment is pending. the senator from montana. mr. tester: i don't need to call it up? it's up. all right. first of all i'd like to thank senator coons and senator heller for cosponsoring this amendment with me. this is a very simple amendment that would allow the children under the civilian health and medical program of the department of veterans' affairs known as champ v.a. to remain eligible for coverage until their 26th birthday that these children are the children of veterans rated permanently disabled, children of veterans who died from a service-connected disability or a service-connected disease. a senator: the senate is not in order. the senator deserves to be heard.
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the presiding officer: the senate will be in order. the senator from montana. mr. tester: with the affordable care act children up to 26 can now be covered on their parents' health insurance. in contrast, private insurance plans or tricare children under champ-va ram are -- program are only eligible until age 18 or 23 if they're a full-time enrolled student. this amendment is on their behalf to allow them to be on the champ-v.a. program up to age 26. the presiding officer: the senator from alabama. mr. sessions: this is a budget neutral reserve fund and essentially says these funds when you hear that language, if you can authorizing committee can pay for this bill, it will not be subject to a budget point of order. it should be offset to avoid that. the presiding officer: the senator deserves to be heard. the senate will be in order. the senator from alabama.
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mr. sessions: we'd like to see if this can be done. it will be a challenge for the authorizers. nothing comes from nothing, could end up cutting other veterans' benefits. this is a worthy goal and i suggest we take it by a voice vote. mrs. murray: madam president, seeing no opposition i suggest we take this by a voice vote. the presiding officer: the question is on the amendment. all in favor say aye. all opposed, nay. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the amendment is agreed to. mrs. murray: move to reconsider. lay it on the table. the presiding officer: without objection. there are now two minutes equally divided prior to a vote in relation to amendment number 535 offered by the senator from pennsylvania, mr. toomey. mr. toomey: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from pennsylvania.
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mr. toomey: i call up amendment 535. the presiding officer: the amendment is pending. million toomey: as we know the obamacare bill raises taxes by $1.2 trillion. much of that is on middle-income families and one in particular is a tax increase on people who incur and deduct catastrophic medical expenses. the presiding officer: the senate will be in order. senators will remove their conversations from the well. mrs. murray: there are a number of conversations going on on the floor both by senators and staff. i would really ask everyone to respect the senator who is speaking. he deserves to be heard. the presiding officer: senators and staff please cease their conversations. the senator from pennsylvania. mr. toomey: madam president, imagine a woman slips and falls at home, seriously injured, runs you have medical costs which she pays for out of pocket, on top of her personal and physical misery, obamacare hits her with a double whammy by
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reducing the amount of medical expenses she is allowed to deduct. who does this hurt? disproportionately middle-income taxpayers. 96% is for people who earn up to -- less than $200,000. the fact is the obamacare tax increase imposed this tax on people who can least a afford it, the sick, middle-income folks. it appeals this ill conceived tax on victims of catastrophic illness and repeals the reconciliation instructions in the budget. i ask for the yeas and nays. mrs. murray: madam president? the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. mrs. murray: madam president? the presiding officer: the yeas and nays are ordered. the senator from washington. mrs. murray: madam president, again for our colleagues, the goal of our budget is to tackle our deficit and debt responsibly in a way that works for our
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middle-class families and our economy economy. that means a balanced mix of spending cuts and new revenue from those who can afford it most. i remind all of our senators, every bipartisan group that has asked exd our budget situation has acknowledged that reality. simpson-bowles, mccainy rivlin recommended more revenue than the $600 billion that was generated by the year-end bill. they recommended well over $2 trillion in new revenue. striking this reconciliation instruction which is what this amendment does and reducing the revenue level goes in exactly the wrong direction. madam president, i ask for a strong no vote. i oppose this amendment. the presiding officer: the question is on the amendment. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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the presiding officer: does any senator wish to vote or change his or her vote? if not, on this amendment the yeas are 45, the nays are 54. the amendment is not agreed to. mrs. murray: lay it on the table.
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the presiding officer: without objection. there are now two minutes equally divided prior to a vote on amendment number 442 offered by mr. casey of pennsylvania. tax reform pennsylvania. mr. casey: i call up amendment number 442. the presiding officer: the amendment is pending. mr. casey: this amendment creates a deficit-neutral recognize fund to support the edward byrne memorial justice assistance grants. it's been cut by one-third over the last two years. we provide support for local and state law enforcement, the money is used to support innovate, evidence-based approaches to public safety by way of example, special courts in new technological innovations to help reduce and fight crime in our communities. it's supported in part -- and this is only a partial list -- the senate sheriffs association, the international
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association of chiefs of police, the fraternal order of police and the international narcotics officers association. i'm grateful for the work done by so many people on this amendment, especially senator grassley, and move for its adoption. the presiding officer: the senator from alabama. mr. sessions: i hope all of us would begin to think a little bit here. we've had a lot of votes that have gone forward and each one seems to be an attempt to spend more money. it sets -- deficit-neutral reserve funds that require offsets but we're really thinking too much in my view as a mindset that we have money, and that i believe we're in denial about the financial condition of our country. truly we should be looking to have more amendments that save some money and use that money to pay down the debt rather than fund some new spending program. this country is on an
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unsustainable debt path, unsustainable. we've got off of it and it cannot be done all by tax increases. trust me, we've got to have some spending reductions. our spending rate of growth is more than two times the rate of economic growth. and that really --. the presiding officer: the senator's time has expired. mr. sessions: i suggest a voice vote. i appreciate my colleagues' work on this amendment. mrs. murray: i believe we can take this by a voice vote. the presiding officer: the question is on the amendment. all in favor say aye. all opposed, nay. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the amendment is agreed to. mrs. murray: move to reconsider and lay it on the table. the presiding officer: without objection. there are now two minutes equally divided priet to a vote in relation to amendment number
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273 offered by the senator from maryland, mr. cardin. mrs. murray: madam president,, i believe the pending amendment is coats number 514. the presiding officer: the chair stands corrected. there are now two minutes equally divided prior to a vote in relationship to amendment number 514 offered by mr. coats of indiana. the senator from indiana. mr. coats: madam president, i call up amendment 514. this is a bipartisan amendment that with senator manchin, it clarifies that a presidential exemption exists for utilities that despite good-faith efforts have been unable to complete the necessary measures to comply with the standards of e.p.a. regarding the mercury toxic elements issue. that deadline is 2016. this amendment does not repeal
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or weaken the standard, the mats rule. it simply allows power plants that qualify for a presidential exemption additional time to finish their upgrades and provides much-needed stability and reability to the electric grid. it's the president's decision. if he sees a utility is acting in good faith and needs a little more time to complete it to meet those standards, he can make that decision to provide that additional time. it's a bipartisan amendment, supported by both sides, and i urge our colleagues to vote for this. mrs. murray: madam president? the presiding officer: the the senator from washington. mrs. murray: i strongly oppose this amendment and agree with my colleague from california and yield to her. mrs. boxer: the coats amendment provides open-ended exemptions to the mercury toxic rule. this is not a one-year extension or even a two. it is permanent extensions.
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if any president, now or in the future, just simply decides it. it doesn't even require any findings. let me tell you a little bit about mercury. it's dangerous. it's a poise o poison. it harms the brain and in childhood development, it is especially damaging to infants and pregnant women. markry harms a child's ability to speak, to hear, to walk, to see, and to think. can't we protect our children? i want to give you 11,000 reasons to oppose the coats amendment. that's how many premature deaths will be avoided with the rule that he wants to eviscerate. just last june we held on this rule. let's vote "no" on the coats amendment. thank you very much. mrs. murray: i ask for the yeas and nays. the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. the yeas and nays are ordered. the clerk will call the roll.
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vote:
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the presiding officer: are there any senators in the chamber wishing to vote or change their vote? if not, the yeas are 46, the
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nays are 53. the amendment is not agreed to. mrs. murray: move to reconsider. mrs. boxer: move to lay that on the table. the presiding officer: without objection. there are now two minutes equally divided prior to a vote in relation to amendment 23 offered by the senator are -- 273 offered by the senator maryland, mr. cardin. mr. cardin: madam president, this amendment would set up a deficit-neutral -- the presiding officer: the senate will come to order. senators will remove their conversations from the well. the senator from maryland. mr. cardin: madam president, this amendment would set up a deficit-neutral reserve fund. i would ask unanimous consent that senator heinrich be added as a cosponsor. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. cardin: it would improve the oral health care for our
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children that are medicaid-eligible. the majority of children that are medicaid-eligible have tooth decay. let me tell why you this amendment will not add to the deficit but will save us money. i'll give you the example of demon tai driver. he needed an $80 tooth extraction. instead, he lost his life. this amendment gives us a chance to find ways to save money in order to expand oral health for our children. i would urge my colleagues to support the amendment. mr. sessions: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from alabama. mr. sessions: i thank senator cardin for his hard work. he is correct that oral care for children is important. it does require that it be paid for. if a new program is advanced, i suggest a voice vote. mrs. murray: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from washington.
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mrs. murray: madam president, hearing no opposition, i suggest we have a voice vote on this. the presiding officer: if there is no further impatience all those in favor say aye. all knows opposed say "no." it appears the ayes have it. the ayes have it. the amendment is agreed to. mrs. murray: move to reconsider and lay on the table. the presiding officer: without objection. under the previous order, there are now two minutes equally divided prior to a vote in relation to amendment number 373 offered by mr. lee of utah. mr. lee: madam president? madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from utah. mr. lee: madam president, under this budget, by the year 2020, we will be spending more every year on interest on our national debt than we spend on on our national defense. this is alarming and ought to be a concern to every one of us. a understand this amendment create -- and this amendment
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creates a point of order that would address this problem and all similar problems in the future with similar budgets that have the same defect. i'd like to add that i am concerned about the amendment process. i heard from our majority leader a few minutes ago a statement suggesting that he might cut off debate, cut off the amendment process. this, after he promised us at the beginning of the week that there would be unlomented amendments. he repeated that phrase twice. it is impair that i have we finish this job. each of us was elected to do a job. each of us deserves to have our amendments called up. we have to business taking a two-week vacation until we have gone through every amendment that any senator from either side of the aisle wants to present. thank you. mrs. murray: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from washington. mrs. murray: madam president, i, too, am committed to meeting the needs of our military to defend the nation and our interests abroad. that's what this budget does. we should not be linking defense funding with unrelated benchmarks. the senate budget does fund
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defense above interests in wedges the five- and ten-year win domes i recommend my colleagues oppose it. may i say we have been very hard at work here. we have had a umin of amendments come before us. we -- all of our staffs are working together to have as many amendments as we can put together for the next group of votes, and i -- rulely i do want to thank all of our senators. i know everybody has been working really hard to get their amendments up, so we can have them in order, and i think we're going to keep working on that. i appreciate everybody's focus on that. i aske ask for the yeas and nay. the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. the yeas and nays are ordered. the question is on the amendment. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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